Why I Hate ARGB


Anyone that has spent any time with me discussing computers will know that I have a firm stance on RGB when it comes to my personal rigs, although I do make allowances for the rigs I build for others and for SAPPHIRE demo purposes. You want a system to stand out for events so RGB is an easy way to do that. However, for my personal rig I avoid it.

Despite what people think it is not because I do not like pretty colors or fun. I will admit a well-done ARGB system is very attractive. For me, in my office, I do not care about the looks of the system only the functionality. That is not, however, the reason I hate RGB.

What I hate about RGB is the complete lack of an industry standard. Every company has its own controller software, some make these worse than others. If you want a comprehensive RGB solution, you find yourself stuck with either a single company for the hardware, possibly having to buy an additional controller, or running two or three apps to control the various devices. All of these to me are unacceptable solutions.

RGB control would not seem to be the nightmare, the various controller companies would have us believe. Look at all the various Fans, cooling headers and other ARGB devices that can be controlled through a number of completely different and incompatible control approaches. There is really no reason that an industry standard approach for this cannot be reached.

However, this goes deeper, the above is just discussing the lighting inside the computer, what about outside the computer? We now have keyboards, mice, headsets and more; these all require a different controller program outside the controllers for the computer itself. They also are all different, again a simple standard should be possible by now.

Then you add to this the fact that not all of the RGB software programs are created equal. Some are very minor control, some more complex. Some are fairly stable and others cause all sorts of system instabilities.

This control software brings me to the real pet peeve of mine.  A few companies have RGB controllers on their devices that are persistent, SAPPHIRE is one of them. What I mean is you load up the control software, in this case TriXX, and set your lights. You can now unload the control software. You can even remove the control software from the system or move the card to a new system, the last lighting effect implemented stays with the card. Some peripheral companies do this as well, but not many, the majority force the software to run all the time in the background or you lose your lighting effects.

This irks me because I like to run a clean gaming rig. I hear people all the time talk about instabilities with their systems and yet my systems, often with the same hardware, do not have those instabilities. I attribute this to the fact I run a clean system with little to no background apps. Every additional app running on a system increases the chance of instability.  So, when a company forces me to run their app all the time I tend to stop purchasing from that company.

All of this could be easily solved with a few steps.

  • Implement an industry wide control standard. Allow for third party apps to easily control ARGB effect with ANY device. Remove the closed ARGB systems
  • Standardized ARGB devices to have persistent function. Make them so once they are set they stay with that setting until the software tells them to stop. This means no software is needed to run once you setup your system.
  • Peripherals should be implemented with the same standards

The argument will come back about the companies trying to get sales. I understand this but there are better ways to do that. Make better ARGB products, include more lighting zones, level control or similar effects. Instead of limiting access to a product, just make a better product.

The implementation of the persistent ARGB effects with devices could mean small cost increase on ARGB devices. I think however most of use could live with an extra dollar or two of charge to make sure we do not need the apps running all the time and thus potentially affecting our system stability.

ARGB lighting can be a cool and fun feature to add to your PC, I understand this. But for me, with the current state of the ARGB market, I find it frustrating and way more pain than it is worth. 


The articles content, opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in SAPPHIRE NATION are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent official policy or position of SAPPHIRE Technology.

Edward Crisler
Edward is the definition of an “old school” gamer, playing computer games as far back at 1977. He hosted a tech talk show for 20 years and is now the North America PR Representative for SAPPHIRE as well as SAPPHIRE’s unofficial gaming evangelist. You can follow him on Twitter @EdCrisler.